NY's George Santos confesses to lying on bio, denies saying he's Jewish

Santos, who was elected to Congress Nov. 8, admitted Monday to a multitude of lies he made on the campaign trail, including about his education and work.

A bird flies by the United States Capitol building in Washington, US, March 17, 2022.   (photo credit: REUTERS/Emily Elconin/File Photo)
A bird flies by the United States Capitol building in Washington, US, March 17, 2022.
(photo credit: REUTERS/Emily Elconin/File Photo)

NEW YORK – New York Representitive-elect George Santos confessed on Monday to a multitude of lies he made on the campaign trail, including about his education and work experience, but he denied claiming to be Jewish.

Santos, who gave an exclusive interview to The New York Post, insisted that the controversy won’t deter him from serving out his two-year term in Congress after winning his election in November in one of the four New York congressional districts flipped by the GOP.

“I am not a criminal,” Santos, the first openly gay non-incumbent Republican elected to the House, said during his exclusive interview. “This [controversy] will not deter me from having good legislative success. I will be effective. I will be good.”

Following the interview, the Republican Jewish Coalition on Tuesday said it would not invite Santos back, according to Reuters.

“He deceived us and misrepresented his heritage,” said Matt Brooks, chief executive of RJC, according to the report. “In public comments and to us personally, he previously claimed to be Jewish.”

 Evan and Taac are joined by candidate for NY-3 George Santos to discuss his Covid-19 episode, his run for the House of Representatives and the current state of Emperor Cuomo’s madness. (credit: Empire State Conservatives Podcast via WIKIMEDIA COMMONS) Evan and Taac are joined by candidate for NY-3 George Santos to discuss his Covid-19 episode, his run for the House of Representatives and the current state of Emperor Cuomo’s madness. (credit: Empire State Conservatives Podcast via WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)

Santos, elected to Congress during last month's midterm elections to represent the Long Island and Queens-based 3rd District, was accused of lying about his family history, saying on his campaign website that his mother was Jewish and his grandparents escaped the Nazis during World War II. 

Now Santos is insisting that he's “clearly Catholic,” but continues to claim that his grandmother told stories about being Jewish and later converted to Catholicism.

“I never claimed to be Jewish,” Santos told Post. “I am Catholic. Because I learned my maternal family had a Jewish background I said I was ‘Jew-ish.’”

“My sins here are embellishing my resume. I’m sorry."

George Santos

What hasn't George Santos lied about?

On December 18, Santos joined the Republican Jewish Coalition on Long Island, where he was just elected to Congress, for a menorah lighting to mark the first night of Hanukkah. He’d been invited as one of just two freshmen Republican Jews elected to Congress in November.

The following morning, The New York Times published a blockbuster expose alleging that much of what Santos, 34, had said about his education, his wealth, his business experience, and even where he lives is false or at least questionable.

In his New York Post on Monday, Santos, who claimed on his resume to work for high-profile Wall Street firms, confessed that he "never worked directly" for Goldman Sachs and Citigroup, suggesting that he probably could have used a better choice of words.

Instead, Santos said, he worked for Link Bridge, which did business with both Citigroup and Goldman Sachs.

“My sins here are embellishing my resume. I’m sorry,” Santos said.

He also admitted he had not graduated from Baruch College, nor “from any institution of higher learning.”

The Representative-elect also registered to vote in two states in 2016, according to a report by watchdog organization Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. Although the second registration came after Election Day, Santos was evicted from a property in New York City in early 2016, public records show. Five days later, Santos registered to vote in Florida, where he voted on Election Day. Less than a week later, he registered to vote in New York. 

Santos was accused of not being gay because he was married to a woman until 2020. Santos addressed those claims with the Post on Monday as well, saying he was married to a woman for five years but is now married to a gay man, adding that his married life is personal. 

The Republican Jewish Coalition did not respond to The Jerusalem Post's immediate request for comment. 

JTA and Reuters contributed to this report.